He is Adjunct Professor of Musicology and Semiotics at Helsinki University and until 2007 Guest-Professor at the Finnish Network University of Semiotics.
His scholarly approach is influenced by Gino Stefani, Franco Fabbri (from Bologna University, where Martinelli graduated in 1999) and Eero Tarasti (from Helsinki University, where Martinelli received his doctorate in 2002). Among his monographs, "How musical is a whale? - Towards a theory of zoomusicology" (2002), "Zoosemiotics: proposals for a handbook" (2007), "Of birds, whales and other musicians - Introduction to Zoomusicology" (2009), and "A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics" (2010). As of 2010, he has written some eighty articles, monographs and edited works, published in international journals and compilations. His writings are available in English, Italian, Finnish, Estonian, French, Lithuanian, German and Swedish.
Scientific director of the Umweb publishing series, Martinelli is now co-editor-in-chief of the academic journal "IF - Journal of Italo-Finnish Studies".
He compiled the first entry "Zoomusicology" for a musical encyclopaedia, and gave the first Zoomusicology course for a University (in Helsinki). "How musical is a whale?" is currently adopted as a text-book in some European universities.
As a composer, Martinelli writes experimental music (with works commissioned by Sibelius Academy, and various festivals in Finland and Estonia, alone or together with Finnish composer Petri Kuljuntausta), incidental music (he wrote for documentaries, radio programs and theatre shows), and popular music (he is songwriter for the Italian singer Anna Maria Castelli).
Martinelli is also the youngest winner of the "Oscar Parland Award for outstanding contribution to semiotics" prize, established by Helsinki University, in memory of Oscar Parland, the first Finnish semiotician. In 2006, he was knighted by the Italian Republic, for his contribution to the spreading of Italian culture abroad.
- Dario Martinelli's homepage
- The site of the Umweb publishing series
- Martinelli's pages about Zoosemiotics and Zoomusicology
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